Article for Nurses

Who Will Decide the Fate of Professional Nursing?

by Aila Accad, RN, MSN

Is nursing a profession or not? Is nursing distinct from medicine or not? Can we replace nurses with technicians or robots that can pass meds, check monitors and generally do what nurses do or not? Who will decide the answers to these questions as new administrations propose national change, nurses or not?

The illness care system is in crisis. People seek basic health care in ERs, 51% of the American population is taking medication, obesity and lifestyle diseases are on the rise. As treatment costs rise exponentially, the number of people covered by health insurance is decreasing. Often modern illness care results in financial bankruptcy. These trends are frightening.

Allow me to propose a radical perspective on what seems to be the worst of times in health care. I think these are the best of times. The best of times for Nursing to make a difference by re-claiming our holistic focus and re-defining a new health care (vs. illness care) paradigm. The laws of nature and nursing science support this view.

What you Focus on Expands
There is a resurgence of information recently on a general law of nature called the ‘Law of Attraction’ (you may know it as, self-fulfilling prophesy). Briefly stated, what you believe, and focus on manifests and expands. The more we focus on disease and treatment, the more we manifest diseases and treatments. In this medical model, nurses spend most of their day dispensing and monitoring treatments for diseases since this is what the system values.

Nurses know that Nursing is not about disease. Nursing has a completely different purpose, which nurses have precious little time to act upon in today’s medical system. Change toward improving health and a ‘health’ care system requires a change of focus. Focus on Health; focus on Human Beings (not only their biochemistry), in short - focus on Nursing.

Focus on Nursing
The basis of Nursing Science is Nursing Theory. Nearly all nursing theories and research from Nightingale forward focus on health and the whole person. Nightingale researched and documented the conditions that support and promote health and healing by observing human responses. I heard the great nurse theorist, Martha Rogers, say, “A profession has a focus, for medicine it is treatment of disease, for nursing it is Unitary Human Beings”. Parse put forth the Theory of Human Becoming, Newman’s is Health as Expanding Human Consciousness, Peplau’s focus is Interpersonal Relations, Watson’s theory is Caring. Others focus on Systems Theory, Adaptation, and so on. All of them Health and Human/Person focused.

Focus on Healing
If we are human health focused then nursing is not about treating disease in hospitals or other tertiary care settings. Only 3% of the population is in an institution the other 97% need health ‘care’ that includes teaching from a nursing model of health promotion and healing, need a Nursing focus, need Nurses.

Focus on Leadership Action
Who will decide the focus of Nursing and Health Care in this failing illness care system? If not nurses, Who? If not now, When? We need Nursing Leadership Now. Every Nurse is a Nursing Leader to the people they serve. Nurses are the largest number of health providers. Together we can consciously create a change of focus!

Gather with other nurses to re-focus your thinking and practice. Talk with the public, nursing associations, and legislators. Re-claim the Profession of Nursing for the Health of all Human Beings.

© 2008 Aila Accad


Aila Accad, RN, MSN known as ‘The De-Stress Expert’, is a professional Nursing Speaker, Trainer and De-Stress Coach. She presents innovative Nurse De-Stress & Lead Programs . You can learn more by contacting her for speaking , workshops , retreats and personal coaching by using the Contact Form below.

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